Grandpa’s Long Simmered Green Beans and Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

With Thanksgiving coming up I thought I would share two recipes today, one for delicious long simmered green beans ( a family recipe) and another for simple dairy free mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

As a child I loved these green beans. They are very tender and flavorful from their long slow cooking with carrots, potatoes, onions and bacon or a ham hock. So good. This is one of the those recipes that changes an ordinary vegetable into a delectable dish. Because it softens the green beans so much, this is also a great method to use for tough green beans (You know the ones I am talking about! The green beans that are fibrous and tough after just a simple steam). I also like that the work of this recipe is done so much before the meal time.

For a recipe that just simply steams the green beans and then flavors it with browned garlic and herbs, check out this one.


Grandpa’s Long Simmered Green Beans Serves 6-8

      2-3 pounds of green beans, washed, ends snapped off
      2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into two inch pieces
      2 celery sticks, washed and cut into two inch pieces
      2 red potatoes, wash and quartered
      1 small onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
      2-4 slices of smoked bacon or one small smoked ham hock
    Salt and Pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a large pot and fill with water about 3/4 up the sides of the vegetables in the pot. Lightly salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat and simmer at a very low temperature until they reach the desired texture and flavor (any where from one to four hours). The longer it simmers the more the smokey flavor of the bacon or ham hock comes out. Right before serving, salt to taste. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and serve in a nice serving dish.

Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes……when I was taken off of dairy I avoided mashed potatoes. After all, how could mashed potatoes be good without butter and cream and sour cream and…..well, you get the picture. But then I was at a friend’s house and she made some mashed potatoes by simply beating in some mild olive oil and salt and pepper. It was surprisingly good. I realized that the secret to mashed potatoes is fat. After a little of experimentation, I found that when making just a basic mashed potatoes that ghee (while not dairy free, many dairy intolerant people like me handle it just fine) makes the best fat. The tongue feel of the mashed potatoes is a lot smoother. If you can’t tolerate it, a mild olive oil works well too. Adding just a bit of chicken broth adds both flavor and helps you get the mashed potatoes to the consistency you want. And of course, having a rich turkey gravy to go over the top makes it very delicious.


Simple Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

There are a lot of different opinions on what type of potatoes are the best. I used russet and they worked fine, but yukon or red are lovely too.

      6 large russet or yukon or red potatoes (about 1 1/2 pound)
      1/4 cup of chicken broth
      4 to 6 tablespoons ghee* or mild extra virgin olive oil
    salt and pepper

*To make your own ghee, go here.

1-Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into a one inch dice. To cook I use two methods. If I am making a large amount, I cover the potatoes with water in a large pot and bring to a boil and simmer until soft. If I am making a smaller amount, I steam them. Bring the water to boil under the steamer, add the potatoes and steam covered for about 10-13 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft, but not falling part.

2-Once the potatoes are cooked using a potato masher or a hand mixer and mash or mix in the fat. Add the chicken broth a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Salt well and serve with a rich gravy.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Jessie says

    The green bean recipe reminds me of a childhood trip to visit an Aunt in Tennesee. We got there early, and she was kerflummoxed because she’d only put the beans on a DAY ago. I guess she cooked them for a couple of days. I was too young to remember what they tasted like, but I don’t think my mother gave them a good review.

    Your recipe sounds much more promising!

    • KimiHarris says

      That cracks me up. I know that there is an idea that with long simmered green beans that the longer you cook them the better, but that’s taking it a bit far! LOL

  2. Jen says

    My family makes green beans like this, except usually with bite size ham chunks, onion and red potatoes. They really are so good when they’re simmered for a long time with good flavors! I like the addition of carrots and celery. I’ll try that next time I make them.

  3. says

    Have you ever tried those beans in the crockpot? Sounds like they would adapt pretty good and save some stovetop room for holiday dinners…………!

  4. JenE says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’ve been trying to think of something different to do with green beans for Thanksgiving. Both recipes look great!

  5. Katarina Johansson says

    That green bean dish sounds delicious. I’d like to make it! And the mashed potatoes sounds yummy too! Thankyou for the recipes! 🙂

  6. says

    I think it is amazing how you can make green beans and mashed potatoes look so beautiful. 🙂 The recipes are beautiful in their simplicity, too. In the many years we were dairy-free (until this year, when we added raw goat milk into our diet), I made mashed potatoes with olive oil and/or coconut oil – and they always turned out fabulous.

  7. says

    Mmm.. well, now I know how I’m fixing the green beans for our Thanksgiving this year! I’m going to try them in the crockpot – there’s only so much room for food on the stove! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe… I was going to try and make one up! 😀

  8. says

    When hubby and I first married, he was upset by what I called green beans. I was from California, and to me, green beans are green, even cooked. Lightly crunchy and cylindrical. Raw is even better. Hubby is from Indiana where green beans are gray, limp as noodles and nearly indistinguishable from their cooking liquid after days of cooking. Eek!

    But I’ll try hours…

  9. says

    I am looking forward to making these green beans this year….. they sound fabulous! But I may add more onions! (I love long simmered onions!) My husband is dairy and gluten free but he LOVES mashed potatoes. I’ve found that coconut milk (from the can) really adds a lot of smoothness. And olive oil, salt and pepper make it really yummy. Sometimes it is just the simplest things that taste so good. Especially when you are longing for “normal” food around the holidays!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  10. says

    I make dairy free mashed potatoes for my son who’s 11 months old. I use expeller pressed coconut oil, salt, pepper and beef broth. The key is fat, definitely!!

  11. Anne Marie says

    I make our mashed potatoes with ghee all the time. Instead of chicken broth, I use a little bit of the salted potato water and season to taste after I get my desired consistency.


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